Thomas Mastin

Male 1749 - 1810  (60 years)

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  • Name Thomas Mastin 
    Born 07 Oct 1749  Spotsylvania Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Source: DAR Application for Ancestor A075173
    Gender Male 
    Died 03 Oct 1810  Sumner Co. TN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Source: DAR Application for Ancestor A075173
    • Thomas Mastin and Daniel Smith were among the many Virginians who migrated to the Territory South of the Ohio River (now TN) in the latter part of the 1700s. Major Mastin was an outstanding frontiersman, having been one of the leaders in fighting the Indians during the Chickamauga
      Campaign. He was involved in other frontier actions which I shall not enlarge on at this time. He was the first sheriff of Davidson County, TN; also, the first sheriff of Sumner County, TN, where he died ca 1810. Source: "Reed and Related Families of Tazewell County, Virginia and McDowell
      County, West Virginia", by Juanita S Halstead.

      About 1772 and 1773 Thomas Mastin was living on the western side of Baptist Valley (in what is now Tazewell County). [Note: At that time it was part of Fincastle Co. which was formed in 1772 1772 from Botetourt County. It became extinct in 1776 when it was divided to form Montgomery and Washington counties in Virginia.]

      Source: Johnston, David E. (David Emmons). A history of middle New River settlements and contiguous territory. (Huntington), Chapter V. 1795 - 1836 (Part 2), 1906.

      Excerpt: "Thomas, John and William Peery settled where the present town of Tazewell is now located, and John Peery, Jr. at the fork of Clinch one and one half miles east of the present county site. In the meantime a number of settlers, among them the Scaggs, Richard Pemberton, Johnson, Roark, and others settled in Baptist Valley, and Thomas Mastin, William Patterson, and John Deskins farther west in the same valley, Richard Oney and Obadiah Paine in what is now known as Deskins Valley."

      Source: Bickley, George W. L. (George Washington Lafayette), and J. Allen Neal. History of the settlement and Indian Wars of Tazewell County, Virginia. (Parsons, West Virginia: McClain Print. Co., 1974), CHAPTER VII.

      Excerpt: I have been unable to learn anything of the particulars of this occurrence, more than the bare fact, that Joseph Ray and his family were killed by the Indians, on Indian Creek, in 1788 or '9. It is from this circumstance that Indian Creek has taken its name.

      Thomas Maston (sic), William Patterson, and John Deskins farther west in the same (Baptist) valley in what is now Tazewell County.

      Source: Hamilton, Emory L. Indian Atrocities Along the Clinch, Powell and Holston Rivers of Southwest Virginia, 1773-1794. (Unpublished).

      Excerpt: 19th of May, 1783 letter written by Colonel Daniel Smith to Arthur Campbell, on that date, wherein he states: On my return from Cumberland, I came through Cassells Woods just after the Indians had been at the Fort at Hamlin?s Mill.(1) The people were greatly distressed: half of them had moved away, and the remainder ready to go, should the Indians make their appearance again. This was due, to their not having any assistance or protection from the interior...Last Wednesday the Indians murdered Joseph Ray, and several members of his family, also one Samuel Hughes, who happened to be there. Mr. Ray was a neighbor to Major (Thomas) Mastin. They have killed and made prisoner eight persons.

      26 Oct 1773 Fincastle Co., Virginia, purchased land from James Skaggs and wife Rachael 78 acres on Me(a)dow Creek, New River, Fincastle Co.

      Source: Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution, John H. Gwathmey, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979 p. 506.

      He is listed as Captain Thomas Mastin, Washington Co. VA Militia.

      Source: Whitt, Hezekiah. Revolutionary War Pension Application. (Tazewell County, Virginia: National Archives, 27 March 1844).

      Describes his service under Thoams Mastin and includes an affidavit from his adoptive son, Thomas Bailey Christian stating the friendship between Thomas Mastin and Hezekiah Whitt.

      Mastin was a captain of a company of militia for Col. William Christian's Cherokee Campaign in 1776. Among Mastin's soldiers on this campaign were Richard Cavett, John Harmon, Israel Harmon, Jacob Harmon, Sr. and Jacob Harmon, Jr.

      About 1777, Thomas and his wife Agnes adopted 4 orphans from the Cornstalk family. When Chief Cornstalk and his son, Elinipsico, were murdered at Ft. Randolph, WV November 10, 1777, Thomas Mastin, and his wife Agnes, took in the orphans Kumskaka (renamed Thomas Bailey Christian), Low Hawk (renamed Hezekiah N. Whitt), Outhowwa Shokka Cornstalk, and Mountain Raven (renamed Sarah Mastin).

      Mastin was part of the campaign against the Cherokees of Chickamauga in 1779 led by Col. Evan Shelby. Two pension statements preserve the names of two of his men: Lyles Dolsberry and James Elkins. It is also known that Hezekiah Whitt was in that company.

      Source: Summers, Lewis Preston. Annals of southwest Virginia, 1769-1800. (Kingsport, TN: Kingsport Press, 1929, 1967, 1972).

      26 Feb 1777 Washington County, Virginia, he became Captain in the militia.

      29 April 1777 Washington County, Virginia, Daniel Smith & Thomas Mastin, two of the Gentlemen named in the Commission of the Peace for this County, took the Oath of Office.

      22 March 1781 Washington County, Virginia,(now Tazewell County) became a Major in the militia.

      Source: Aronhime, Gordon. Thomas Mastin: important unknown of the early Clinch River Settlement, 3-11, May 1982.

      Historical Sketches of Southwest Virginia, Publication 17 - 1984, Historical Society of Southwest Virginia, he Ten Washington County Years, 1776-1786

      "The tithable list of Major Thomas Mastin of Baptist Valley, Daniel Smith's close friend, ..... Major Mastin's list contained 82 taxable males, each with the number of horses, cattle, and slaves owned. It is interesting that no one in the precinct besides the brothers Smith had slaves in 1782, save for Levisa, widow of Rees Bowan with two slaves. In the entire precinct of 82 persons taxed, only six others had as many as ten cattle listed. These were Thomas Mastin with 20, Simon Cockrell with 19, Levisa Bowen and her neighbor, David Ward, with 16 each, John Deskins, Sr., with 13, and Mrs. Comfort Brewster with 11."

      1 Apr 1785 Washington County, Virginia,(now Tazewell County) sold 275 acres in Baptist Valley, moved to Tennessee.

      Source: Historic Sumner County, Tennessee By Jay Guy Cisco, 1909

      Chapter 2

      " The first settlers came chiefly from the Watauga, North Carolina and from Virginia, though a few came from Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Many of these hardy men were fresh from the battlefields of the revolution, and brought with them the rifles and the muskets with which they had helped to win independence for their country. Better than rifles and muskets, they brought with them strong and vigorous minds, strong and healthy bodies, a love of freedom, undaunted courage and a determination to conquer dangers and difficulties and build new homes for their descendants or die in the wilderness.

      Gilmore says in his "Life of John Sevier:" "With but one exception, the trans-Allegheny leaders were all Virginians, Sevier, Donelson, and the two being from the ranks of the gentry, Robertson and Cocke from that of the yeoman class, which has given some of its most honored names to English history.

      Among the early settlers, of whom the writer has not been able to collect detailed information are the following families: Alexander, Allen, Bryson, Belote, Bentley, Brown, Baker, Baber, Bowyer, Bracken, Chenault, Cantrell, Chapman, Cryer, Crenshaw, Carter, Cummings, Dickinson, Dunn, Darnell, Duffey, Franklin, Gillespie, Clendening, Hassell, Hargrove, Hays, Hanna, House, Harris, Joyner, King, Lewis, Mitchner, Murray, Montgomery, McCain, Provine, Perdue, Pond, Pryor, Roscoe, Read, Rawling, Robb, Turner, Tompkins, Mastin, Watkins, Wherry, Witherspoon, Woodson, Walton, Williams, Grant, and others.

      From the beginning, the settlers of Sumner county were in constant peril. The men seldom ventured from their homes without arms. They lived in groups of several families, bound together by ties of common interest, exposed to common dangers, and ever ready to hazard their lives for the common good. Most of them had been born and reared on the frontiers of Virginia and North Carolina during the stirring times immediately preceding the Revolution.

      The Cherokees and the Creeks were constantly on the war path. There ,was no safety for the settlers until General Robertson ordered the destruction of the Chickamauga towns, and that order was successfully executed on September 13, 1794. After that time there was peace and safety. But many homes were in mourning for loved ones who had fallen victims to savage cruelty."

      Chapter 3

      "The first court held under the Tennessee State government was in July, 1796 (previous to that date they were held under the jurisdiction of North Carolina), at the home of Ezekiel Douglass. It was composed of the following members, commissioned by Governor John Sevier: William Cage, Stephen Cantrell, James Douglass, Edward Douglass, James Gwyn, Wetheral Lattimore, Thomas Masten, Thomas Donald, James Pearce, David Wilson, James Winchester and Isaac Walton.

      December 15, 1790. Appointed and commissioned for the County of Sumner, Isaac Bledsoe, David Wilson, George Winchester, William Walton, Anthony Sharp, Edward Douglas, Joseph Kuykendall, James Winchester and Thomas Masten Justices of the Peace for Sumner county, of whom George Winchester, Anthony Sharp, and Edward Douglass, being those present, did take be- fore Judge McNairy in presence of the Governor an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and also an oath of office."

      Tax List, Sumner Co. TN
      Consists of a portion of a tax list for Sumner County, Tennessee, taken by Thomas Mastin, Justice of the Peace, in the district of Capt. Hansb[roug]h's militia company. The document lists names, number of acres owned, location, number of free polls and black polls, number of stud horses, and amount of taxable property. Based on the names included, the tax list appears to be from the 1790s or early 1800s.

      April, 1787, Record of Stock marks and Brands of the inhabitants of Sumner County lists Thomas Mastin.

      7 June 1787 Sumner, Tennessee, first Sheriff of Sumner County (for one year).

      12 July 1788 Sumner, Tennessee, purchased 200 acres from his old friend Daniel Smith, then 68 acres, where he lived the rest of his life.

      Record of the Taxable Property in Sumner County for the Year 1789 lists Thomas Mastin, 200 acres.

      Source: U.S. Census Reconstructed Records, 1660-1820
      Name: Thomas Masten
      Gender: M (Male)
      State: Tennessee
      Locality: Territory South of Ohio River
      County: Sumner County
      Residence Year: 1790
      Household Remarks: He was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Sumner County, 15 Dec 1790.

      Source: Aronhime, Gordon. Thomas Mastin: important unknown of the early Clinch River Settlement, 3-11, May 1982.

      1790 Sumner, Tennessee, tax list

      On 2 Jan 1796, Thomas Masten sold to Peter Hansbrough, 505 acres on the north bank of Cumberland River abutting land of William Green and Robert Green in Sumner County. On 14 Feb 1798, William Green sold to James Mason, 227 acres part of a tract of 1,000 acres granted to Hezekiah Linton heir of Jesse Linton on the north side of Cumberland River in Sumner County with witnesses Smith Hansbrough and Thomas Maston.

      Sumner County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, 1796
      At a Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions (illegible) met at the house of Ezekiel Douglass on the first Monday in October 1796. Deed of Conveyance from Thomas Mastin to James Fugate for two hundred & twenty five acres of land lying in Russell County & Commonwealth of Virginia was duly acknowledged by the said Thomas Mastin.

      Russell Co. VA Deed Book Page 440 - September 27, 1797 between Thomas Masten of Sumner Co., TN and James Fugate of Bourboun Co., KY...275 ac granted to Thomas Masten dated April 1, 7985 on the waters of Clinch River in the Baptist Valey...Beginning on a high ridge corner to John Hankins land...on the side of Cants Ridge...Signed: Thomas Masten. No witnesses.

      Was bondsman in Sumner Co. TN 1 Feb. 1790 for the marriage of Robert Erspy and Curry Cribbins, 7 May 1796 for the marriage of John Reed and Sarah Dixon, and 7 October 1796 for the marriage of John Searcy and Patty Claybrook Whitworth.

      Sumner County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions, held for the County of aforesaid on the first Monday in April 1798.
      At the house of William Gillespie agreeable to adjournment.
      Members Present :
      Wm. Cage
      Thomas Mastin
      James Gwin
      Witheral Latimer

      The Court Adjourns till tomorrow 9 o'clock - Tuesday April the 3rd 1798.
      The Court met according to adjournment, present: Esquires
      Edward Douglas
      Thomas Mastin
      Witheral Latimer

      Deed from William Green to James Mason for 227 acres of land was proved by Thomas Mastin.

      Record of the Taxes in Sumner County for the Year 1792
      Thomas Mastin, 1 poll, 200 acres tax 1 pound 8 shillings. Next household is Thomas Christian.

      1804-1808 Sumner, Tennessee, Sheriff of Sumner County

      Deed 20 Feb 1804 Thomas Mastin, Collector Direct Tax, to Joshua Rice, $ 1.43, having been the property of Andrew Armstrong, 640 acres. Wit: None" "Sumner County, Tennessee Deed Abstracts 1793-1805"

      6 Oct 1808 Sumner, Co. Tennessee, No children mentioned. Only "beloved wife, Agnes"

      Source: Lula Hunter. Skaggs & Hankins, Beginnings with Never Endings Msg 3-A.

      Excerpt: Thomas Mastin and Daniel Smith were among the many Virginians who migrated to the Territory South of the Ohio River (now TN) in the latter part of the 1700s. Major Mastin was an outstanding frontiersman, having been one of the leaders in fighting the Indians during the Chickamauga Campaign. He was involved in other frontier actions which I shall not enlarge on at this time. He was the first sheriff of Davidson County, TN; also, the first sheriff of Sumner County, TN, where he died ca 1810.

      17 March 1812, Russell County, Virginia now Tazewell County

      This is a land grant for Walter Preston dated 17 March 1812. Thomas Mastin is mentioned, along with John Hankins in the description of the property.
    Person ID I12897  Master File
    Last Modified 19 Apr 2012 

    Family Agnes,   d. 06 Oct 1808, Sumner Co. TN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 04 Jan 1773  Spotsylvania Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Adopted parents of Thomas Bailey Christian.

      Kennith Simpson is a direct descendant of Thomas, from an son born out of wedlock to Addison "Attie" Christian. Kennith has done considerable research on his ancestor, as well as extensive DNA studies. Here is a recent post on the Rootsweb Christian Forum on Thomas Mastin's relationship with Thomas.

      Posted: 12 Sep 2013 11:31AM GMT

      "Today I received a response from the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia, pertaining to my inquiry on Thomas Mastin and the adoption of the orphans in 1777. The researcher did extensive research on my question and sent me a detailed finding. Her conclusion can be summed up in one sentence; I found no references in any of their sources for any such adoptions.

      I was sent some very good information with the response.

      'Thomas Mastin Important Unknown of the Early Clinch River Settlement by Gordon Aronhime.'

      'Extracts from the James T. Preston Papers, Washington County and the 150th Virginia Militia Regiment, edited by George Stevenson.'

      'Members of the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia, compiled by M. Margaret Hughes.'

      A quote from the first source,'Mastin's personal life was curiously similar to that of his friend, Daniel Smith, in that the record is one completely drained of the essential personality of the subject. Even the date of Mastin's death is a puzzle. He made a will on 6 October 1808 soon after his final months as Sheriff of Sumner County.'

      This document is also strangely unrevealing. There are no children mentioned, no descendants, only his 'beloved wife, Agnes,' maiden name unknown. There is no date of probate in the Sumner county records either.

      In his will he left his slaves and his furniture, stock of horses, cattle, sheep, and hogs to Agnes. Then comes the surprise. He leaves his 268 acre farm to 'My friend Daniel Smith and his heirs after the death of his wife.'

      I think that no matter what the relationship was between Mr. Mastin and the children, on his death bed he would have wanted to leave them something even if only a token inheritance or at least acknowledge them.

      All records appear to show that Daniel Smith and Thomas Mastin had a unique relationship. Thomas followed Daniel, Daniel did not follow Thomas. Other than Agnes, Daniel appears to have been the only close friend Thomas Mastin had. There is no evidence at all to suggest that there existed a strong relationship between Thomas Mastin and the orphans.

      An interesting fact is that another document sent me shows that in 1788 Thomas Mastin purchased 200 Acres of land from his old friend Daniel Smith, then he purchased 68 more acres where he lived the rest of his life. This is interesting because in his will he leaves 268 acres to his friend Daniel Smith. Also starting around 1796 Thomas Mastin begins selling off all of his land except the 268 acres. It is not known what he did with the proceeds but I find it interesting to note that he leaves Agnes property but no cash.

      One notation in the documents did confuse me because it refers to the adoption in 1777 of the children by Thomas Mastin but in the next sentence it states that he simply 'took in the orphans.'

      This came from the Annuals of Southwest Virginia. So could it have started with him just taking in the children and then over the years people just assumed that he adopted them. Also this part of the article gives the Indian names of the children and the names that they were given supposedly by Mr. Mastin. One of the children was called Sarah Mastin, of all the children she was the only one that got the name Mastin? I seriously question this entire matter. All records show that Mr. Mastin was a very close friend of Daniel Smith, yet none of the children were given Smith as a last name. Hezekiah Whitt and Mr. Christian were not close friends they were individuals Mr. Mastin only knew as a result of his military activities. Daniel Smith is the only person ever referred to as a close or dear friend, yet none of the children carried his name.

      I do not believe that Thomas Bailey Christian was blood related to either Chief Cornstalk or his son. I do not believe there was an adoption. I now believe that over the years oral tradition has left us with a mystery that simply can not be verified."

     1. Thomas Bailey CHRISTIAN,   b. 15 Mar 1770, Botetourt Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 1854, Tazewell Co VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years)
    +2. Elizabeth Mastin,   b. 01 Jan 1792, Washington Co. VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 09 Oct 1845, Warren Co. KY Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years)
    Last Modified 14 Sep 2013 
    Family ID F7364  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart